Summary: We can know all the truth we need to know to live for God.
A. INTRODUCTION: WHY WE DON’T UNDERSTAND
1. Because we are mentally limited. We don’t understand all things. “He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth” (John 12:35, KJV).
2. Because we are spiritually blinded. “The god of this world hath blinded the (spiritual) minds” (2 Cor. 4:4).
3. Because we can’t know all of God’s truth. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts . . . for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9).
However, we can know all the truth we need to know to live for God.
4. Because the Bible doesn’t contain everything. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).
5. Because we haven’t grown to understand all natural things. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child . . . but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see though a glass dimly” (1 Cor. 13: 11-12).
6. Because we read our opinions into the Bible (isogesis), rather than reading and doing what God commands (exegesis).
B. VERSES ABOUT BAPTISM
1. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (damned, KJV)” (Mark 16:16).
a. A person must believe and be baptized to be saved.
b. Baptism doesn’t save, but can’t be saved without immersion.
c. You will be lost if you do not believe and be baptized.
a. Majority argument. Over 300 verses only say believe, and omit baptism.
b. Illustration of those not baptized (immediately or at all). Paul called Jesus Lord, Ananias called him brother. Paul baptized none (1 Cor. 1:14).
c. Baptism is left out of The Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4). “I declare unto you the gospel.”
d. The negative response in Mark 16:16 leaves out baptism.
e. It is tied to the Great Commission that says the gospel must be preached to all the world, and then after a person believes, they must be baptized as evidence as an outward sign to be accepted in the church and as a testimony to the world.
2. “Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins’” (Acts 2:38).
a. You must be water baptized in the name of Jesus only. This is called oneness doctrine.
b. Only those baptized in Jesus’ (only) name are saved.
a. Jesus commanded us to use the Trinity when baptizing. “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:20). (Note the word name is singular).
b. Because the Jewish crime was rejecting Jesus and crucifying Him, they had to repent at the point of their sin, by being baptized in Jesus’ name.
c. Those who were baptized with one name or three names (interchangeably) are recognizing the Trinity, i.e., “Equal in nature, separate in person, submissive in duties.”
d. Those who baptize in the formula, “Jesus only,” reject the Trinity. (Most are modalists, i.e., one God appeared in three different modes).
e. Contrast. The baptism of Jesus is contrasted with “The baptism of John the Baptist” (Matt. 21:25). For three years everyone focused on the baptism of John, now the emphasis is on being baptized in the name of Jesus.
3. Paul testifying of his baptism. “And now why are you waiting? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
When one obeys by faith, his sins are washed away in the act of baptism.
a. Repentance. Paul had rejected the messianic claims of the Lord Jesus, so in his baptism Paul had to focus on his rejection of Jesus as evidence of his repenting, i.e., “calling on the name of the Lord.”
b. Symbolism. The believers are saved when they identified in spirit baptism with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, i.e., “We were buried with Him through baptism unto death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Rom. 6:4-5). Water doesn’t save; it is only a symbol of conversion.
c. Regeneration. Sins are washed away when we are born again, not by baptism. “He saved us through the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5).
4. “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5).